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Latent Period of a Biblical Character: Abraham

Updated on January 2, 2020
OGUNDARE OLUSEGUN profile image

Over three decades ago I become interested in the Bible, having drank from the heavenly cup once, I have not been tired to drink more

Father Abraham
Father Abraham

Introduction

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines latent as “existing but not yet very noticeable, active or well developed”. This time may be called training moment.

Period on the other hand could be defined as “a length of time in the life of a particular person or in the history of a particular country.

We have known the active periods (or moments) of many if not all prominent biblical figures. What I mean is much has been said and written about those people’s active periods, but very limited words have been said or written about the silent phases of their lives. Their embryological phase in life, when they were yet to be known, before they were given birth to, I mean before they became renown figures in their world and society at large.

It should be noted that the length of the latent periods of those people as well as all humans (not exempting those of us who are in the world today) varies.

That is why it is quintessential for parents, yea all of us not to compare person A with person B, because someone who is in the position of ignominy today, God may be preparing him for greater heights tomorrow.

Poll 1: Comparison

Are you comparing your child with another person’s child?

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It has been studied that even identical twins are not completely the same in all this, even genetically there is variance between them. Therefore, we shouldn’t compare our children with somebody else’s children, in fact we should not compare elder brother or sister with his or her junior ones.

Faith in action
Faith in action

Father Abraham

I want us to see something about the father of faith’s (Abraham’s) latent period in this article. What led to him being christened the father of faith much has been said and written about this, but as a writer says, “he couldn’t have became the father of faith out of the blues”, there are some templates on which he built upon, which strengthened him and gave him boldness that he was on the right course.

Those things which gave him boldness, assurance that he was on the right course happened when he was yet to become renown in the world, those things happened when he hasn’t become someone in life.

It is that silent phase of his life that I want us to dig into and exhume some things out from there for our spiritual uplifting.

All bible students know that the name given to Abraham by his parents was Abram, however, at a time God seemly found fit, he changed the name to Abraham to for the fulfillment of his promises on the man.

Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. (Gen 11:27)

Abram is written in Hebrew as “אברם”, the Romanized form is 'abrâm (pronounced as ab-rawm') and this name means high father. However, because the meaning of this name falls short of the promises of God for the man, God must change the name to give room for his promises fulfilment on the man.

Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.(Gen 17:5)

The name was changed to Abraham which in Hebrew is “אברהם”, Romanized to become 'abrâhâm (phonetic spelling is ab-raw-hawm'). This new name means father of multitude.

Because God wants him to become a nation and a nation comprises of many people, he must change the name to accommodate for what his plan for the man was.

When God sees something in our lives that is not in agreement with the plans, he has for us, he would equally remove those things to give room for what he has for us to come to establishment.

Peeping
Peeping

A Peep Into His Latent Period

However, before the name of this man was changed, the man and his parents had been living in Ur of the Chaldees (in the present-day Iraq), his place of birth with his parents and grandparents.

History has it that during this time, the commonest god worshiped by the people of Ur of the Chaldees was moon, which is classified as the god of fertility.

From biblical accounts using extrapolations, and deductions of the ages of births and deaths of individuals it could be deduced that by the time Abraham got of age in Ur of Chaldees his greatest grandfather, Shem was yet alive.

Shem was one of the sons of Noah who saw the first world and what led to the destruction of the first world with flood by God. It is the assertion of some theologians that God spared the life of Shem because he wants him to pass some information along to his subjects, he wants to use him to let the people discern between the original and the counterfeit.

Having been closely involved with his father, Noah, in the first and early part of the second world before his father’s demise, he could tell his descendants what God requires of them, how God wants them to be living and letting them know the true God and how he could be served.

If outsiders did not believe him, which most of the times is expected, he was expected to raise his subjects, children in the way of the Lord, because that was what happened to his father, Noah when he was telling the people about the forthcoming destruction.

Elder person telling children stories
Elder person telling children stories

(a) Undergoing Education

Education is defined by Google as the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, while online Wikipedia adds this to the meaning of education that it is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, beliefs, values, and habits.

The educational methods that would be used then would include story-telling and discussion.

As it could be seen from the definition of education above, it could be said of Abraham that during his latent period he was busy undergoing training, education on how to worship the true God from his grandfather, Shem.

This could also be corroborated by the word of the Apostle in the epistle to the saints in Romans that, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17)

The word of God that was being shared with them then would be experience of the man about how the flood started, the preceding events of the warnings by his father which was rejected by the people, the construction of the ark and the gathering of the animals, entering into the ark, the closure of the door by an unknown Person, a supernatural power and the eventual release of the rain on all inhabitants of the earth.

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Heb 11:7)

And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; (2 Pe 2:5)

No one who has the mind of God after hearing such message, story would not be pricked in heart to want to know more of that God who could do that.

(b) Practicing What Learnt

After the acquisition of those knowledge, it would not be out of the way to say that he was trying his best to put into practice what his parent and grandfather have taught him about the Lord.

The holy bible encourages us that we shouldn’t be listeners alone, neither speakers alone but we should be doers of the word of God.

Poll 2: Doer

Are you one of the doers of the word of God?

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But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (Jas 1:22-25)

(c) He Should Have Received Revelation About God

Having been taught about the Lord, alongside with others by their parents and grandfather, it wouldn’t be out of the way to say that his heart has been drawn to the Lord such that at a point in time during those days, God would have appeared to him to leave Ur of Chaldees.

For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (Isa 66:2)

(d) Shared What Received

The father of Abraham Terah couldn’t have left Ur of Chaldees with the intention of going to settle in Canaan land without receiving some divine instructions from God that his greatest grandfather Shem had told him. It is also in my view that, Abraham wouldn’t have followed the man assuming he has not received something like that. I said this because other children of the man, Terah did not follow him out of Ur of Chaldees when he was leaving which shows that he has a conviction that the step his father wanted to take is a better one, it is better for them to leave where small gods are being worshipped to go to another place where they would be able to freely worship the real God.

And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.(Gen 11:31)

He was specific of where he was headed for according to this account, but it was discomfiting to discover that he did not get to the place before settling down.

May I say that, the matter of the kingdom as well as the matter of life and living is personal, and it does not matter what someone is doing, if you are not convinced about it, you wouldn’t want to do it, except you are still a child that couldn’t decide for himself. But in this case, Abraham was no longer a child as he has been married then.

It is therefore logical to assume that he followed his father our of Ur of Chaldees because of his conviction in the dream or vision his father had, which he would have had something similar or shared the same vision because of the ways and manners of people of their country that has pissed him off as it was said of Lot that the ways of the people of Sodom pissed him off when he saw what they were doing.

And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) (2 Pet 2:7-8)

We can see what Apostle Peter said by the spirit of God of the status of the mind of Lot when he was living in Sodom that his soul everyday becomes troubled of what those people were doing, that was the main reason why he couldn’t miss it when the angels arrived at the town to destroy the town.

This may have been the position of the heart of Abraham too after listening to his greatest grandfather of the requirements of God during their days and therefore, he couldn’t agree less with his father when he wanted to get out of the land of Ur of Chaldees.

Forced along the journey
Forced along the journey

(e) He Was Not Forced

It is clear from the account how they left Ur of Chaldees that none of them was compelled by their father to follow him. They did follow him out of their volition. They willfully followed their father out of the place.

And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.(Gen 11:31)

The matter of the kingdom of God at this dispensation too is not by force, no one would force you to be saved, no one would force you to give your life to Jesus Christ, you must do that willfully.

Abraham's journey
Abraham's journey

(f) After His Father’s Death He Didn’t Miss it

it could be stated that it was because of Abraham’s initial believe and vision which he shared with his father that he could pick it up from where his father stopped when the revelation came unto him again that he needs to leave the land of Haran for Canaan land.

A leader who assumes position of leadership after the demise of the person who is leading the group or company or church or country but who does not have a revelation of leadership before assuming the position, when such a one eventually gets to the position he would miss it, he won’t lead the people right, because before then he has not clue of what he wants to do.

A good leader would have at a time or another have a clue of what he wants to do if peradventure fate puts him into the position.

To wrap this up,

We can see that Abraham knowing and following God does not just happen like that, he has templates in which he was building his faith upon during his latent periods, this template he has received from his parent and greatest grandfather, it was on this foundation that he built upon impressing God and by that he could be called father of faith.

Simple Questions For Personal Assessment

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© 2020 OLUSEGUN

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    • OGUNDARE OLUSEGUN profile imageAUTHOR

      OLUSEGUN 

      5 months ago from NIGERIA

      @ Cheryl E Preston. Thanks for reading. Uplifted by your comment.

    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      5 months ago from Roanoke

      Very profound look at Abraham. Thank you for such an in-depth look at this biblical character.

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